The Scottish Parliament has recently amended their dogs laws so the emphasis is changed to deed not breed. From now until June 1, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is seeking views from individuals and organisations on whether current legislation “adequately protects the public and encourages responsible dog ownership.” So if you have something to say about the Dangerous Dogs Act let them know!
When the European regulation that allowed free movement of dogs around Europe came into force in 2004 the UK Sweden and Malta were allowed to keep more stringent rules for dogs entering their countries than the rest of Europe.
The additional rules required extra blood tests, a strict requirement to keep rabies jabs up to date and in the case of the UK extra worming and tick treatments. Sweden UK and Malta were only allowed to have these extra rules until the 30th June 2010. So at the end of June UK dogs should have the same freedom to move around Europe as the rest of their European cousins and their owners no longer have to pay for a vet to worm and tick treat. The UK government could ask for an extension but it doesn’t appear that they have done as there is no consultation document presented and the timing, if done now, would be wrong. So the UK’s disease protection will depend on responsible and sensible owners ensuring their dogs are properly protected.
It would be wise to check to check with DEFRA before you travel this summer as our border enforcement teams may not be avid readers of the law and a debate with the jobs worth when you return home as that could mean quarantine!
Last week the following appeared on the DEFRA website
Specialist training for police to tackle dangerous dogs
Police officers will receive specialist training to become designated Dog Legislation Officers who will provide expert advice on dangerous dogs cases and legislation, Animal Welfare Minister Jim Fitzpatrick announced today.
The Association of Chief of Police Officers (ACPO) will receive £20,000 from Defra to help deliver the training which will ensure officers have a thorough understanding of current dangerous dogs legislation, as well as best practice enforcement techniques.
Guidance for enforcers, published in April, recommended that it was good practice for every police force to have, or have access to, a designated Dog Legislation Officer (DLO) who had a good knowledge of the law and how it could be best used to protect public safety.
Mr Fitzpatrick said:
“I am determined to crack down on irresponsible dog ownership and ensure that those who use dogs to injure people are dealt with rigorously. I know that this training will get us one step closer to better enforcement of dangerous dogs laws.
Anybody who knows (and understands) anything about dogs realises the Dangerous Dog legislation is absolutely useless and has cost a fortune to basically incarcerate a large number of innocent animals. People from every walk of life have been questioning its efficacy for years and this is the latest reaction from a wonderful government that has already bankrupted the country; spend more money! This will, of course, answer every query that has been raised & miraculously make the 1991 Act successful.
Whilst ignoring all the obvious questions one thing has to be asked. Is the £20,000 to ACPO for them to train one person to go round the varying forces passing on “their expertise”, is it £20,000 for each of the currently 44 listed forces?